tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX July 10, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
i'm bret baier in for chris wallace. the debt ceiling negotiations hit a snag. ♪ ♪ >> bret: as president obama and congressional leaders work overtime to forge a deal, we'll get a progress report from the senate republican leader mitch mcconnell. and from a top house democrat, congressman javier becera. after reshaping the political landscape, the tea party looks ahead to the 2012 presidential race. we talk about the campaign and the size and scope of government with the man called senator tea party, jim demint. and a stunning unemployment
report sends shockwaves down main street and wall street. we'll ask our sunday panel how damaging the numbers are with the president. all right now on "fox news sunday." hello again from fox news in washington. late saturday, a major develop in the the debt ceiling negotiations. speaker of the house john boehner issued this statement asking for a smaller package instead of the bigger grand bargain. "despite good faith efforts to find common ground the white house will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes. i believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure based on the cuts identified in the biden-led negotiations." white house communications director dan pfeiffer responded with this. "the president believes that now is the moment to rise above the cynicism and show the american people we can still do big things." so he will make the case to congressional leaders that we must reject politics of least resistance and take on this
critical challenge. joining us now is the senate's top republican, who will be a key participant at today's talks. senator mitch mcconnell. welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> glad to be here. >> bret: let's start with what happened and from your perspective, where do things stand now ahead of the meeting tonight at the white house? >> unfortunately, as the speaker said, the white house and congressional democrats are insisting on big tax increases as a condition to do anything on the spending side. bret, we believe the president is right back in december -- was right in december when he signed the two-year extension of the current tax rates that raising taxes in the middle of the economic situation we're in is a terrible idea. just look at the unemployment figures last friday. all the arguments the president used in december still work today there is an additional issue other than unemployment at work. what government do you want to
have? if you look back at the last two-and-a-half years you see the government running banks, car companies, student loan business, taking over the healthcare, trying to take over the internet. increasing discretionary spending 24%, increasing debt 35%. how big a government do we want? we don't want to use the opportunity presented by the president's request of us to raise the debt ceiling to freeze in perpetuity this much government. i don't think the american people want it. i don't think it's good for the economy. >> bret: so is a big deal, $4 trillion deal off the table? >> i think it is. everything they told me and the speaker is to get a big package would require big tax increases in the middle of the economic situation that is extraordinarily difficult with 9.2% unemployment. we think it's a terrible idea. it's a job-killer. >> bret: you mention the unemployment rate.
it came out friday, 9.2%. uptick, 18,000 jobs only created in june. in your opinion how much has the jobs report affected negotiations? >> well, it incentivizes to us do a big package without raising taxes, but unfortunately, i think the president is not thinking the same thing he did six months ago when the economy didn't seem to me as bad as it is today and he was making arguments of raising taxes in the middle of the recession or slowdown, whatever you want to call it. it was a bad idea. >> bret: before the development saturday, democrats were upset that the white house was talking about medicare, medicaid, entitlement on the table. here is house minority leader nancy pelosi. >> we wanted to, of course, reduce the deficit as we grow the economy. we are not going to reduce the deficit. or subsidize tax cut on the rich on the back of american seniors and working families.
no benefit cuts in medicare and social security. >> bret: so the question is can you get to a smaller package, say $2.5 trillion without touching medicare and social security? >> well, look, over 60% of our budget we don't even vote on. it's popular entitlement programs like social security, medicare, medicaid and interest payments. you can't do anything serious about our deficit without impacting the biggest percentage of the budget. so i commend the president for putting medicare and social security on the table. he is correct in doing that. you can't have a serious deficit reduction program without dealing with those programs in the long-term. in the out years. >> bret: what do you say to democratic critics who say you republicans are not coming to the table with a lot of give?
>> well, we have 9.2% unemployment. their prescription is to raise taxes? i mean my goodness. who thinks that -- the president didn't think that was a good idea in december. why do they think it's a good idea now? >> bret: well, senator, the words they are using is shared sacrifice, balanced approach. >> those are nice words but how do you get the economy growing, which is the biggest way to increase government revenue? you do not get the economy growing by having a big tax increase. you ge get the economy growing y insent vising the private sector. if you are in the private sector and trying to decide whether to expand, what do you see the government doing? proposing to raise taxes, borrowing, spending, overregulating. it's not a very reassuring message if you are running a business if you look at the federal government today. >> bret: treasury secretary tim geithner is saying this morning that the white house is still going to try to get the biggest deal possible.
what is the biggest deal possible? >> i don't know. i'm for the biggest deal possible, too but we're not going to raise taxes in the middle of this horrible economic situation. >> bret: would you agree to raise the debt ceiling with promises for big structural changes to the tax code down the road? in other words, if there a mechanism to tie a current deal to future promise of a deal? >> we can't negotiate it here but we believe that the tax reform is long overdue. the president believes that as well. try to get the rates down. take a lot of preferences out. it's very difficult to do that in a week. it's extremely complicated process. we are in favor of that, and we think we ought to get about it. but i don't see how you can do that in the context of our immediate challenge here, which is to figure out what to do in response to the president's request of us to raise the debt ceiling. >> bret: will the house republicans put forward their own debt limit proposal, do you believe?
>> we will continue to hope we can work out something with the administration. obviously, the other side, the other political side controls most of the government. they have the senate, they have the presidency. you can't get an accomplishment without some kind of bipartisan agreement. that is part of what the meeting tonight is about. we hope it will be successful. >> bret: so what if there isn't a deal? >> well, we are going to go forward and i'll have more to say about that later in the week. >> bret: is there a contingency plan? >> there is always a contingency plan. >> bret: what does it look liklike? >> i'll let you know. >> bret: do you believe it's in serious jeopardy if they don't raise the debt ceiling. >> nobody is talk about not raising the debt ceiling. i haven't heard that -- >> bret: some are. >> not in the congress. >> bret: michele bachmann said don't let them fool you that the collaps economy is goio collapse. >> we're talking about the request that the president made of us to raise the debt ceiling as an opportunity to
do something significant for the country about spending and about debt. that, of course, would be good for the economy. >> bret: so you believe the august 2 deadline if the debt creeling is not raised by then there would be serious economic repercussions? >> the secretary of the treasury stated we need to do this and we are using this as an opportunity to have a discussion about doing something about spending and debt. >> bret: there are now even proposals up on capitol hill for again, a clean debt limit increase. is that a possibility? >> look, we're going to try to use this opportunity to do something significant about deficit and debt, to get our spending down, get us headed in the right direction. i have don't think we would have been able to focus on this but for the president's request of us to raise the debt ceiling. >> bret: as far as revenue increases, not tax rate increases, revenue increases, closing tax loopholes. senator kyl and house majority leader eric cantor came to some conclusions in the vice
president biden meeting, the meetings led by the vice president. they said $150 billion to $200 billion in tax revenue increases. would you be in favor of that if let's say a payroll tax cut is included there? >> well, you are asking me a lot of things that are the subject of negotiations. what we're in favor of is a growing economy. if you can get the private sector moving, bret, you f you can get the private sector moving, the government will benefit by that, by greater revenue. the principal reason that revenue is down is not because we have rates that are too low. we're in a very sour economy. when the economy goes south, government revenue goes south as well. we have don't want to do -- we want to do anything to get us out of the economic trough to produce more revenue for the government. >> bret: a number of republicans are worried that you are going to "cave" too early. presidential candidate, texas congressman ron paul is worried about a deal that promises things down the road.
he said this. "the democrats pulled a similar maneuver in ronald reagan's presidency. a deal that promised 2-to-1 spending cuts in exchange for tax increases. taxes went up but the cuts never came. in washington if you hear about a so-called deal, you can be sure the taxes will come but the cuts never will. agreeing to the scheme by the white house would be a betrayal of the voters who put republicans back in charge of the house in 2010." would it be a betrayal? >> i agree with that, by the way. i think he is absolutely right. the one long-term spending reduction you can count on is when you make entitlement changes, bret. we don't vote on every year. they hold up. when reagan and tip o'neil fixed social security which lasted for a generation back in 1983, it lasted for a generation. we have didn't go back and revisit it every year. we don't vote on entitlements every year. they're on automatic pilot. i agree with congressman paul. he is right about that. but i do think long-term entitlement changes do hold
up. and ought to be a part of any deal we make. >> bret: so without this wall of the debt ceiling, does the prospect of that start to demin niche? -- demin niche? >> it's helpful. the president's request to raise the debt creelin creelinge reason we are having the discussions. it's helpful and i hope it's productive in the end. >> bret: i'm sure you're aware of the politics of all of this. democratic operatives trying to sell a couple of storylines. one, if it does not get raised and the economy falters it's your fault, republicans walking away from the table. two, republicans want a sour economy, bad economic numbers. i received an e-mail with a list of quotes on it. republican candidates and leaders saying that bad economic numbers help republicans' chances in 2012. on that e-mail is one of your quotes from last year where you said, "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for president obama to be a one-term president." so how do you respond to the
democratic lines of attack? >> well, that is true. that's my single most important political goal, along with every active republican in the country. but that is in 2012. our biggest goal for this year is get the kentucky straightened out. straight -- get the country straightened out and we can't unless we do something about spending and debt and get the economy moving again. our goal is get robust economy to benefit all americans so this debate we're having right now is so important to our country's future. >> bret: the treasury secretary saying there is no credible way to get the congress more time. they have to act, you have to act by august 2. is it possible that you will push forward -- i know we are getting into negotiations here -- a shorter deal that doesn't even take you past 2012? that perhaps is dollar for dollar and only gets you part of the way. but the dollar spending cuts and -- you know, maybe get you $1 trillion.
>> good try, but those are all the things we're talking about. you and i can't resolve it here this morning. i have wish we could. >> last question, another topic. the obama administration transferred this terror suspect, somali suspect wasami to the u.s. to try in a federal court after interrogating him on a u.s. naval ship. you have spoken out against this. the administration continues to argue that there are solid charges that can be brought in federal civil court and the attorney general appears convinced it's the way forward. what is the next move in the standoff? >> i agree with chuck schumer. chuck schumer opposed trying k.s.m. in new york in a regular civilian court. i'm sure he must surely oppose bringing this terrorist to new york. by the way, they are going the try a couple of foreign terrorists in kentucky, my state, whose fingerprints were found on i.e.d.s in iraq. these foreign terrorists are enemy combatants. they should be taken to guantanamo. they should be tried in military commissions. new legislation that we passed
three years ago precisely with the purpose of dealing with foreign terrorists. these are not american citizens. we just found the casey anthony case, how difficult it is to get a conviction in a u.s. court. i don't think a foreigner is entitled to all the protections of the bill of rights, they should not be in u.s. courts, they should be at guantanamo and before military commissions. >> bret: senator mcconnell, thank you for your time. we'll be interested to hear what happens tonight. >> i will, too. >> bret: coming up next, we will talk to a key house democrat about the line in the sand, some in his party are drawing over potential changes to entitlements. from sprint. he motorola expt its powerful tools help you work faster and smarter so you can get back to playing "angry birds." it lets you access business forms on the go, fire off e-mails with the qwerty keypad, and work securely around the world so you can get back to playing "angry birds." it's the android-powered phone that mixes business with pleasure. so let's get our work done, america,
so we can all get back to playing "angry birds." the motorola expert from sprint. trouble hearing on the phone? visit sprintrelay.com. is it the new forty, i don't know. i probably feel about thirty. how is it that we don't act our age? [ marcie you keep us young. [ kurt we were having too much fun we weren't thinking about a will at that time. we have responsibilities to the kids and ourselves. we're the vargos and we created our wills on legalzoom. finally. [ laughter [ shapiro we created legalzoom to help you take care of the ones you love. go to legalzoom.com today and complete your will in minutes. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side.
>> bret: now for the democrats' view on where the debt negotiations stand, we're joined by california congressman and vice chair of the house democratic caucus xavier becerra. congressman, welcome to "fox news sunday." >> thank you for having me, bret. >> bret: i'll start with the same question i started with senator mcconnell. where do you think things stand before the meeting's evening at the white house? >> i think they are where they have always been; that is, that the leaders have to come together and get it done because once again, the american people probably get it better than the politicians. this will affect them more than the politicians. their mortgage, their opportunities to pay for a student loan for their kids to go to college. the opportunity to see new jobs if small businesses can go ahead and get the line of credit they need to expand. all of this impacts their ability to do well. so i think we are where we were before. get it done.
>> bret: you're pleased with the news that perhaps it is going to be a smaller package that originally proposed? >> i was never pleased that we leaked in such a way that you threatened the full faith and credit of the u.s. government. this issue of a debt ceiling increase with the need to come to grips with the budget. we can't do both. we can't do one without the other to take to us the brink. we see this occurring where speaker boehner could not get the vote in his republican conference. we're now at the stage where the markets tomorrow will tell us what they think about this. the american people have been telling us for quite some time. >> bret: congressman, there was a pretty big push-back by the democratic caucus to the white house when word came out that social security, medicare and medicaid were on the table. >> brettable. >> well, think of hit the way. the negotiations came with the president said let's all come together, leaders and discuss
negotiated settlement. everything has to be on the table. but pretty quickly my republican colleagues say everything should be on the table except taxes. that doesn't seem fair. the american public gets that there has to be shared sacrifice. american public gets some folks, milliontarys haven't been paying their fair share. the american public poll after poll says let's let everyone pay a price to have some gain in future no pain no, gain. >> bret: congressman, you were on the president's debt and deficit commission, the bowles-simpson commission and you voted against the recommendations at the end. during the meeting, one of the meetings, you said this. "as you just said here, i don't want to leave the table because i started off the first day saying everything must be on the table." what you just said. "but as the negotiations in the debt ceiling increase have continueed you said this week -- "i don't see why i would support any plan that would cut benefits to seniors to pay
for the reckless fiscal policies that led to us the massive deficits." that seems like a big change. so now there are some things that are off the table for you. >> when i was on the fiscal commission and any proposal comes before me for a vote i would tange a look. as much as i believe that social security should not be on the table because social security hasn't contributed one cent to the deficit we face today, nor one crept to any of the national debt. the $14.3 trillion. so why should social security, why should seniors have to pay to balance the budget through social security cuts? but it should be on the table. i would fight to take it off the table but it should start off on the table and what should remain on the table are the things that drove us in the deficit. most folks know what drove us in the deficit. when you don't pay for two wars in iraq and afghanistan and you borrow all the money from china, you are going to have to pay for it at some point. >> bret: you mention social security in the president's deficit commission report, they say
among other things without action the benefits currently pledged under social security are promise we cannot keep. do you think changes need to be made to social security for future generations or not? >> absolutely. you said the operative words. "future generations." we're not talking about balancing the budgets today for future generations. we're doing it because if we don't do it today, the person who pay the mortgage tomorrow see it shot up. this is not about the future obligation. social security will be good for the next quarter century. we should do something after the quarter century, we are not paying 78 cents on the dollar but we're paying 100% on the dollar. >> bret: last year for the first time since the '80s, social security paid out more benefit than it took in payroll taxes. correct? >> true. >> bret: essentially, correct me if i'm wrong, the social security trust fund is a pile of i.o.u .s from the
government, that was taken from congress' past that borrowed it and spent on other programs so you have to pay it back eventually is that not accurate? >> the best way to display this for you. do off wallet? >> bret: not on me. >> let me pull this out. $5 bill, right? it's just a piece of paper but it says $5 on it. let me show you something else. this is a $50 savings bond. my daughter got it when she was born 16 years ago. both of these are pieces of paper. this is a treasury certificate, this is a dollar. both of them rely on the full faith and credit of the united states to be covered. if i try to cash either one of these in it's only because the federal government says you can count on getting paid. that is what social security has to the tune of $2.5 trillion. so when people say that social security has no money, they're saying to you that for the last 30 some odd years politicians have been stealing the money out of social security.
it's there. ask china, china has these as well. they expect to be paid. social security expects to be paid. by the way, you and i expect to be paid. >> bret: sure. but with 10,000 baby-boomers retiring every day for the next 19 years and with people living longer, and social security trustees report says the program will not be able to pay fully beginning in 2036, eventually you are going to have to deal with the program. tough white house saying why not now? >> we could. you have to do it in strengthening social security, not paying for deficit that the social security and ben fish years had anything to do with. that is the difficulty that democrats had with what republicans are proposing. they want to put social security and medicare on the table. you heard mcconnell say we need to put both programs on the table to deal with the deficit and debt today. democrats are saying wait a second. whoa! every day an american works when he or she pays a fica tax out of the paycheck, it's going to social security and
medicare. why when it's patted for system should it pay for deficit caused by the bush tax cut to wealthy, unpaid for wars in iraq and afghanistan? that is the big rub. >> bret: you are against any changed consumer price index, changed c.p.i., consumer price index change, which is essentially adjusting benefits for what the bureau of labor statistics says is overstated inflation? you're against that? >> are you parents still alive? grandparents still alive? >> bret: sure. >> do they have the same healthcare cost that you do? they don't. senior have higher healthcare cost than someone your age or my age. what happens if you thank the c.p.i.? backdoor cut to social security. why? while you and i are nimble enough still to make a consumer choice and say not buy a mercedes benz and buy a less expensive ford vehicle, a senior can't decide i need to find a substitute for healthcare.
i need healthcare. so the changed c.p.i. does, that it chains the seniors to lower benefit, which is unfair to them because they worked for the social security benefit. >> bret: are democrats re -- resistant to this in part because they enjoyed the political issue in 2006, that it's powerful political issue in the election? >> the public made social security and medicare a powerful issue, because the public so believes in medicare. and in social security and headcadmedicaid. republicans are saying keep our hands off the social security and medicare. but let's be prepared to strengthen the program in the future because we see in the sout years with the baby-boom generation we want to deal with social security to make sure it's continuing as strong as it is today. and on medicare you want to make sure that you lower the healthcare cost so medicare could continue to provide benefit to seniors. >> bret: last question.
30 seconds here do you think this is going to push up against this debt ceiling limit? how do you think it comes to an end? >> if we are smart, we will agree we won't jeopardize the full faith and credit of the united states. never have in the bush administration, seven votes to increase the debt limit. the republicans voted for it. they shouldn't play politics this time around. >> bret: you mentioned the bush administration, but senator obama said -- the debt weakens it internationally and leadership means the buck stops here. instead washington shifts the burden of bad choice the back of children and grandchildren. we have a debt problem and failure of leadership. americans deserve better. he voted no against increasing that debt ceiling limit then. was he wrong? >> what he is saying is what he said today and yesterday. let's resolve the big issues before us because we can't continue to raise the debt ceiling limit. what we have to do is get the
house in order. do it in the ways that are balanced, and way the american public would do it if they sat at table of congress. they wouldn't walk away from the negotiation, they'd get it done because they have no choice. >> bret: congressman, thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me. >> bret: up next, senator tea party jim demint and what he makes of the economy. the state of politics and who the g.o.p. should nominate in 2012. futuinside and out. ♪ to build tomorrow's technology in amazing ways. ♪ and reshape the science of aerospace -- forever. [ female announcer around the globe, the people of boeing are working together -- for the dreams of generations to come. that's why we're here. ♪
>> bret: joining us now from his home state of south carolina is the leading activist in the senate for tea party cause and author of new book "the great american awakening," senator jim demint. welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> good to be with you. thank you for having me. >> bret: senator, where do you think things stand ahead of tonight's meeting at the white house over the debt ceiling limit raise? >> well, bret, i'm afraid i'm not optimistic. i think the president has been gaming republicans. he has been talking about this for six months. the only proposal he sent us is his budget to raise the debt $10 trillion. so it's hard to take him seriously here. there is a lot of things we need to do and we talked about reforming social security, medicare, the tax code. i along with many other republicans have introduced legislation over the years to the just that. what we need to do is recognize the main problem, the thing that is of coursing the economy and jobs is overbearing government spending too much, borrowing
too much, creating too much debt. so, thousands of americans and many republicans in congress are uniting around the idea that we will give the president his increase in the debt limit in return for some reasonable cuts in spending this year, some caps on spending over the next ten years. his agreement to send balanced budget amendment to the constitution, to the states for them to ratify. we can't solve the social security, medicare, tax issue this week. but we can agree it's time to stop spending more than we bring in. >> bret: do you believe, senator, that the country risks default or major economic consequences if the debt creeling idebt creeling is- debt ceiling is not raised by august 2? >> i don't. secretary geithner has been irresponsible and he is playing chicken little here. we will pay the debts if it's the last dollar we have. there are enough assets in social security and medicare
to pay the benefits of those programs for several years. other programs can be funded from tax revenue. there would certainly be disruption, bret, but this is not a deadline we should rush and make a bad deal and do something that cuts benefits from seniors without giving them better choices. what we need to do, bret, we are not going to get the programs reformed and all of this done in two weeks. let's agree that the problem is spending and debt. let's agree to stop spending more than we are bringing in. not this year, not next year, but let the state decide if sometimes over the next six to ten years is bring our budget in to balance. 49 states have to balance their budget. they have to make the tough decisions every year. we never make the tough decisions because we don't have to balance the budget. >> bret: i'll talk about that in a second. but on the august 2 deadline, speaker boehner said this friday. "while some think we can go past august 2, i frankly think it puts us in an awful lot of
jeopardy and puts our economy in jeopardy, risking even more jobs." you disagree with the speaker? >> if the president and secretary geithner have not planned for contingencies and we sent them letters telling them they needed to, there would certainly be disruption. the president is required by law to pay our debts. he is required to pay social security and medicare. i know he will try to frighten seniors and other americans that something terrible will happen. but we are willing to give the president increase in the debt limit. the democrats in congress have to work with us on reasonable cuts. and give the states the opportunity to vote on a balanced budget amendment. this is not asking too much right now. we're not asking them to make radical cuts anywhere, but to agree with us that the american people in the states should be able to finally decide if we're going to balance our budget. >> bret: senator, we have been talking about this financial clip before. not just in the past few months.
another quote for you. "the full consequences of default or even the serious process of default by the united states are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. denigration of the full, faith and credit of the united states would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar." that is from president ronald reagan in november of 1983, issuing a warning and letter to then senate majority leader howard baker. your thoughts on that? >> well, bret, it would be catastrophic to default. we shouldn't default. we're not going to default. the president's obligation is pay those bills. if they have to have contingency plans to make sure other functions of government go on, again, we want to give the president his increase in debt limit. we need to make it at least one of last times. this is the fourth time he asked for it. each time we get promises of change. we're not getting any change. >> bret: you mentioned attaching the balanced budget amendment to whatever deal comes out here. here is what your colleague
republican senator john mccain said on the floor about that. >> in order to avoid what would be disastrous consequences for the market, the economy as a whole and our standing in the world, i encourage my colleagues to lay aside, at least temporarily, their insistence that amending the constitution be a condition of their support for a solution to this terrible problem. >> bret: so that is a nonstarter for you, pushing that aside. >> senator mccain is cosponsor of the balanced budget amendment. we're not holding the debt ceilings hostage to implement a constitutional amendment. that would take years, it would take the states two or three years to ratify. after that, it would be five years before this was implemented. so there would be plenty of time to do the things we need to do to save social security and medicare, to fix our tax code. those are the things we can't do in a couple of weeks. but what we are asking is to give the american people and
the states a chance to decide if the federal government should over the next few years bring the budget in balance. bret, a fifth grader can tell us if the problem is debt, then we have to stop spending more than we are bringing in. that means we have to -- >> bret: sorry to interrupt. i apologize. if you look at the recent polls, the latest fox news poll for example about the balanced budget amendment, 72/20%, most favor the amendment to the constitution. but sentiment is reversed. if having balanced budget amendment means major cut to entitlement, it's 63/31% against the major tax increases or 62/27% opposed. so critics say it could backfire and limit any government in a crisis. >> bret, i don't think we ultimately will need to take anything away from existing seniors. in fact, i don't think we should. but there are a lot of less expensive choices for social security and medicare i think the younger workers would take in a hurry.
younger workers would prefer 401(k) style plan for security. they would like to keep their own health insurance when they retire. i would save the federal government money and give people better choices. these are things to work out over several years. we need to have good open hearings in congress. we are not going to do it in the next couple of weeks. but we are also not going to do it, bret, if we don't agree at some point in the future we need to balance our budget. that is what we need to do first. i have to do it in my home. i had to do it in my business. you have to decide what your budget is. then you decide what you can do. what you can spend money on. right now, this is irrational, just to decide everything we want to do and then how much we're going to borrow to make it happen. >> bret: senator, only 12 senators signed on to your cut, cap and balance plan. eight presidential candidates have. including mitt romney, former massachusetts governor. you supported him in the 2008
south carolina primary. tea party favorite congresswoman michele bachmann has not signed on to this. what about that? will you endorse a candidate this time around? >> i will probably endorse but it won't be until the end of this year, first part of next year. i want to see what the candidates are doing. well over half of republican conference in the senate is cosponsoring the cut cap balanced bill. the pledge is one thing, the bill is the real thing here as far as what we need to do. i'm still encouraging people to sign a pledge. that is a commitment to oppose the debt limit. unless we get real spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment. but you are going to see over the next week, bret, the large majority of republicans in the senate and hopefully in the house sponsor a bill that gives the president his debt limit increase, contingent on real cuts and sending a balanced budget amendment to the state. if any presidential candidate doesn't take the balanced budget seriously, i don't see
how they could add anything to washington right now except more debt. >> bret: have you take an presidential run off your table? >> yes, i have. >> bret: well, that simple. senator demint, thank you very much for talking to us today. >> thanks, bret. >> bret: coming up, i'll ask our sunday panel what the new unemployment numbers mean for the economic recovery. and the president's political future. zñzñzñtgtgçwoç'c'cz
the sooner that the markets know that the debt limit ceiling will have been raised, and that we have a serious plan to deal with our debt and deficit, the sooner that we give our businesses the certainty they need to make additional investment to grow and hire. >> i think the situation we face is you are jent. i would describe it -- we face is urgent and i would describe it as dire. we have a spending problem, debt problem and a jobs problem. >> bret: president obama and speaker boehner draw the battle lines ahead of debt negotiations scheduled at the white house today. now it's time for our sunday group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. mara liasson of national public radio. stephen hayes of "the weekly standard." and fox news political analyst juan williams. let's start with the unemployment number out friday and what it means for the
president and what it means for this situation. >> it was a game-changer in terms of the debt negotiations. it hardened positions on both sides. republicans against any kind of tax increases and democrats against any sort of major entitlement reform as you heard echoed in the interview with congressman becerra today. which meant that the possible big deal that the president and speaker has been talking about evaporated. the word came from the phone call to the speaker to the president. but that's where we are. i also think, bret, that we look at today's talks will not be resolved. they're terribly afraid that as we get close to announced deadline that letters will go out to frighten the dickens out of the social security recipients perhaps or others and they will need to do something. what it will be remains to be seen but i know for a fact
that the two leaders in the house and the senate republicans have a plan in mind. they're not going to tell you what it is, but we will find out soon enough. >> bret: exactly. mara, the treasury secretary saying he won't have time passed august 2, saying they will still try for the biggest deal possible. >> the biggest deal possible now is the $2 trillion get you through the next election deal. which was the deal they were talking about in the biden negotiations. then i think the president and the speaker tried something bold and creative and ambitious, which is to not kick the can down the road and try to make a big deal that would really solve the deficit problem by doing the three things that everybody has always felt was needed. tax reform where you get more revenue, while lowering tax rates. entitlement reform and real spending cuts. it didn't work. boehner couldn't bring the votes for that. >> tax reform. >> no, no, no. it was a sticking point. you couldn't figure out how to guarantee tax reform that take
misyears in something that has to be done in two weeks. that was the problem now we're back to the median term deal. president's bottom line it has to get you through the next election. he doesn't want to do it again before then. can you make it revenue neutral? if you are going to close the loopholes, which the democrats want, you could have extension of the employees social security tax cut that the president wants. that would balance it out. >> bret: this is not an easy jump either to get the smaller version. >> it's certainly not. if you look at the -- just look at the numbers in the house in particular and the senate. you have to get the votes to pass this thing. whatever this looks like, $2 trillion or $2.5 trillion. boehner said that the president is operating on good faith. these are good faith negotiations. i just don't see a lot of evidence to support that claim. if you look at what the president did, if you look at what the white house did, he insisted on tax hikes that republican leaders had already ruled out. and could not pass the house
of representatives, no matter what. the white house actually wants to push this to the brink, maybe beyond august 2. i think they believe that they have more flexibility than tim geithner is saying publicly. because democrats want an issue. they want to be able to talk about the disruption that the republicans are causing by pushing this, the economic disruptions they're causing pushing this. they want to send the letters that brit mentioned because the white house has no argument on the economy. it has been two-and-a-half years. the stimulus didn't work. they need an argument. i think right now this is an exercise in attempting to get blame sharing. >> bret: juan, do you agree with brit that it was a game-changer friday? >> i think a lot of these things were in place before friday. i think that everybody saw terrible economic news. what i think is going on here is to my mind intransjent on the part of republicans for taxes. not just for the rich but the
very rich. we refuse to make taxes part of a deal and violate what congressman becerra called the notion of shared sacrifice. i think the job numbers indicate we have to do something. it's made the democrats now more persistent in the idea whatever deal comes along has to include a loose stimulus spending. imagine the republican reaction to that. >> you won't get stimulus spending but you might get employee payroll tax cut. that's what the president wants. >> but stimulative. >> what could be less stimulative than raising taxes on anybody? >> how is it now is the very rich is everybody. very rich is small business. it's not true. >> the president himself back two years ago next month in august of 2009 made the argument that raising taxes in a recession, even on the rich was the last thing you want to do. these are president obama's words. how does it make sense to raise tax on anybody right
now? >> we are trying to cut entitlement. we need to raise the debt creeling to a point that nobody thinks is rational. everybody thinks we have to cut spending. the democrats are proposing two or three dollars in cuts, something taking on something risky for the democrats, social security and medicare and in exchange asking there be responsebility in the part of republicans to say yes. people who have made, have become prosperous in the land of opportunity are also going to share the pain. >> bret: pushback for democrats on friday after the leak about the entitlements being on the table was strong. >> correct. the democrats are in the minority in the house, they feel like nobody is paying attention to them and everybody is playing ball along the tea party line. tea party, they're not interested in governing. they're interested in campaigning. >> let's get back to the major players here. i don't quite agree with steve about the white house strategy. i think the person who would benefit most from the kind of
big deal where you solve the entitlement program for a problem going down years in the up 20ture, down to the president benefit enormously. it would take debt and spending off the table because it would be bipartisan deal. give the president a talking point how he has done everything he kaz k to solidify the fiscal situation and give confidence to market and might get economy moving. make no mistake about it. a growing economy would do more than any tax increase on this economy could possibly do to raise revenues. >> who allowed the bush tax cuts extended? wasn't it president obama in service to the economy? the republicans said is necessary for the. >> that was his position six months ago. it's changed. >> he did it. >> now he wants to go back on that? >> right now if you want the big picture and take on the
entitlement, social security and medicare, talk about it have an honest discussion. >> didn't you hear what i said? i say he is for that. i think he wants to do it and it would be a benefit to him if he did. that is my point. didn't you hear me? >> bret: how gets there from here is the question. we'll answer that question with more fireworks after break and the panel. back in a moment. host: do people use smartphones to do dumb things? man 1: send, that is the weekend. app grapgic: yeah dawg! man 2: allow me to crack...the bubbly! man 1: don't mind if i doozy. man 3: is a gentleman with a brostache invited over to this party? man 1: only if he's ready to rock! ♪ sfx: guitar and trumpet jam vo: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
>> bret: now we're back with the panel talking about debt ceiling negotiations ongoing at the white house. the question is how you get to the cuts of $2.5 trillion? the vice president's meetings, they didn't seem like they had specifics to get them to the cut. >> we heard they identified $1.5 trillion. i don't think you can get to $2.5 trillion. maybe you can get to $2 trillion. but at one point the democrats talked about make up the last billion with the revenue
increases like closing loopholes on corporate jet owners which is pennies and oil and gas companies. but then the republicans said we're willing to close the loopholes but they have to be revenueral and we have to cut taxes somewhere else. that made you think the president wanted reduction of the employee tax cut but then you reduce the number. that's why they are having trouble getting to the $2 trillion deal so they went for the smaller deal and now they're back to square one. it will be hard to get to the deal. >> bret: the house republicans came forward and said dollar for dollar we'll match you say $1 trillion in cuts, we'll raise it $1 trillion. so you get to that number and it doesn't take you past the election in 2012, but it gets you past this moment. the president said he would veto that. but in a bind up against a wall, what about that? >> there is some question how much you raise the debt creeling to get past the election. that's fuzzy. you can see possibly this week from the house republicans, they will take this if the negotiations don't go well and
say we will own this, we will drive the process. i expect the house republicans to put up some kind of a plan to attach raising the debt limit with some kind of their own spending and deficit reduction plan. something that would be a light version of the paul ryan path to prosperity, something along the lines of cut cap and balance. this is all being discussed and hashed out now. i expect the house republicans if the negotiations don't go well tonight to take it and say we will do this, which would make harry reid in the senate say we're turning this down and make the president veto it if he is going to. >> bret: let's be clear. mostly house republicans don't want to vote on raising the debt ceiling period and they don't want to vote it on it twice. if they have to bounce back and forth with pieces of legislation, that's not attractive. >> look, if this, if any debt ceiling increase passes with attached spending cut and no tax increases, a big win for
the republicans in the long-term scheme of things. look where we started. we start with the president who didn't want the bush tax cuts to stay in effect and after the election he gave on that. he wanted continuing resolution for the rest of the year, spending bill for the balance of this year to pass without spending cuts. he didn't get that. he had to swallow $40 billion in spending cuts, some now and some in the future. he wanted a clean debt ceiling. debt ceiling increase, pass, no spending cut attached to it. one way or another he won't get that he will have to swallow more spending cuts. what the republicans holding one house have been able to do is leverage what they can find to the must-pass bills to getting the spending restraint done. that is a win for them. it would be a real win as i said before for the president, a great big deal that accomplished entitlement reform but it seems out of reach. >> bret: congressman becerra didn't really answer this but the democrats like having the political issue on entitlements. >> i think if you look at the
results of the paul ryan effort to make cut in medicare it resounded to the benefit of democrats. if you look at the special election that took place going forward it has given democrats some hope they can recapture the house. seniors who have been a reliable voting bloc for republicans now see republicans want to take on something like medicare, take it away from them in a serious way. let me just say. >> they're all exempt. current seniors are exempt. >> republicans want something done about entitlement, they want spending under control. in this deal they had the opportunity to make history and the republicans have been the one to turn away from it. it's regrettable. an abdocation of adult responsibility. >> bret: down the row quickly. does it get done? >> i hope it gets done but i don't know. >> bret: what about tonight? >> i think they make some progress but i'm with mara, i don't see how they get to $2.5 trillion. >> the white house pushes it
to august 2 or beyond. >> i think the united states will not default. >> no default. >> bret: thank you, panel. don't forget to check out panel plus, where the group picks up with the discussion, fiery discussion at that, on the website foxnewssunday.com. we will post the video before noon eastern time. that is it for today. i'll see you monday at 6:00 p.m. eastern for special special o"specialreport" on foxl and chris wallace returns to the anchor chair on the next "fox news sunday." have a great weekend. captioned by closed captioning services, inc